When news broke that Justin Bieber was going to cash in on the heavily commercialised festive holidays, it sent millions of impressionable and easily-pleased pre-teen girls into a frenzy, while the rest of us groaned in despair. Under The Mistletoe, released in mid-November, contained a mixed number of classic Christmas covers and newly-penned songs, as well as the Mariah Carey standard ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’, which Bieber recorded with the legend herself.
This is the second time Carey has re-recorded her own song since its original release in 1994; the first time was in 2010 for her Merry Christmas II You album. However - although boosting her cash flow and profile once again following an absence from the mainstream music scene might seem like a wise idea - the outcome is more of a miss than a hit, which the original was.
While Mariah’s voice is still in good form and her solos in the song are as pleasant to listen to as ever (her signature whistle notes at the end are a new and nice, added touch), Justin on the other hand, with a recently broken and croaky voice, easily and quickly grates on the ears and nerves. Even when they sing together the poor boy is way out of his depth, seemingly trying too hard to keep up with her far more effortless singing.
Though the song itself still stands as one of the most recognisable and popular Christmas songs of all time and is enjoyable enough, Bieber should have just kept his mouth shut and let Carey sing the entire song alone. But then there wouldn’t be a need for this mismatched duet.